Malevo - Sydney Opera House (NSW)
Directed and choreographed by Gonzalo Jamie.
Reviewed by MaryAnne Reid
Sydney Opera House, Sydney
17 – 21 January 2024
Get in quickly if you want to catch this buff troupe of Argentinian dancers rock the Concert Hall stage of the Sydney Opera House!
With a unique blend of drumming, dancing, music and circus, Malevo is inspired by the Malambo traditional dance handed down from older cowboys to their younger counterparts at gatherings on the cattle trails of Argentina. Director, choreographer and dancer Gonzalo Jaime has transformed this folk tradition for a modern audience by merging it with other styles like urban percussion and flamenco.
The promotional material for the show frequently mentions that the troupe is all-male, and once you see the show, you’ll understand why. Machismo dominates the stage – a call and response as the dancers/drummers, harking back to the cowboys of old, strut their stuff and challenge their fellows to do better. Whatever your predilection, there is likely to be plenty of visual appeal in the athletic torsos and flamboyant haircuts (generally oiled) of this energetic dance troupe.
Malevo - Sydney Opera House 2024. Photos by Jordan Munns (@jordankmunns)
Anchoring the performance is the band sitting behind the dancers, featuring violin, flamenco guitar, piano accordion and percussion. This provides a counterpoint and interlude between segments and is excellent to witness in its own right.
Malevo has had international successes including performances in Las Vegas, New York, the Middle East, Paris and London, special performances with Ricky Martin and Cirque du Soleil, and has also made it to semi-finals of America’s Got Talent. The level of this acclaim is reflected in every pore of the performance.
The performers are clearly proud of their cultural identity and enjoy translating it for international audiences through their zest and energy shown throughout. The packed house on opening night – which included at least a few South American members – were head over heels in response.
Artistic Director, Choreographer and Founder: Gonzalo Jamie
General Direction: Monica Ocampos
Musical Director: Pablo Pupillo, Martin Morales
Sound Design: Alejo Fornasari
Lighting Operator: Francisco Bormida
Technical Director / Company Production Manager: José Vargos
Juan Carlos Acosta
Fabian YbarbasGlobal Representation: Matthew Bledsoe - IMG Artist
Producer: Andrew Kay
Producer & Tour Manager: Margot Teele
Production Manager: Allan Maguire
Marketing: Emma Calverley and Sam Laurie